27 March 2006

FEC Keeps Blogs Deregulated.

The three Republicans and three Democrats on the Federal Election Commission unanimously adopted a rule requiring anyone placing a paid political ad on a Web site to abide by federal campaign spending and contribution limits.

But the rule also updates existing FEC regulations to make it clear that all other Internet political activity, such as blogging, e-mail communications and online publications, is not covered by the campaign law.

"Individual online political activity will be protected from FEC restriction regardless of whether the individual acts alone or as part of a group, and regardless of whether the individual acts in coordination with a candidate or acts independently," said Commission Chairman Michael E. Toner.

From here via Soapblox Colorado.

This is particularly important for blogs like Musgrave Must Go, which focus on particular federal candidates for public office, and operate anonymously. It is the right call for this time and place, eliminating a host of potentially thorny legal issues, all deeply intertwined with First Amendment political speech rights.

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